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“First Time visit to Washington, DC” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Kimpton Donovan

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The Kimpton Donovan
Ranked #32 of 140 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“First Time visit to Washington, DC”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2013

This was my first trip to Washington DC so I did not know what to look for when booking a hotel as far as location. I ended up booking the Donovan after reading a few reviews on Trip Advisor. I'd like to start out by saying that my overall experience at the Donovan was favorable. I was travelling solo with my birds for a fun weekend getaway. The room fit the bill for me perfectly. I really didn't use the room much except for sleeping and to take rest breaks throughout the day. My main purpose was to be out and about. So that being said, if you are looking for a hotel and have similar needs/situations then this hotel is a good choice. The location is pretty good (I thought) for getting around to different landmarks. It's at L Street and 14th. Also, I like to walk. I walked all over...up to U Street (Ben's Chili Bowl!) and down to E. I also walked to Georgetown from the hotel which was quite a trek but not an unsafe walk...at least during the day.

The room itself was a little on the smallish size, but again, I was travelling solo so it did not bother me. One item of note is there was no desk in the room so if you are travelling for business, this could be problematic. Some of their other rooms may have desks, I didn't ask about that. The floors also don't have ice machines. You have to call Guest Services and they will bring it to you. The first time I called (Saturday morning at 7:13) they never brought it and as I was getting ready to leave for the day I didn't bother calling them about it.

Also, they failed to pick up the breakfast room service tag from my door one morning. However, when I called they were very apolgetic and got my room service to me right away.

The hotel offers a wine happy hour from 5 to 6 PM which is kind of cool. But note it does get pretty busy so you may or may not find a place to sit. :)

The rooms have a cool circular shower in them and animal print robes in the closet.

The fitness center was kind of small but if that is an issue for you, they do offer some running suggestions and also, there is a private fitness center almost right next door to the hotel that may offer day rates.

If you want to do the Spy Museum,ask at the front desk as I do believe they have discounted tickets. i really enjoyed the Spy Museum. :)

Room Tip: I think the corner rooms may offer more privacy and may be a bit bigger
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Heather S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at The Kimpton Donovan, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Hi Heather S,

Wow, what awesome detail in your review!

I really appreciate all the comments. It helps me to know what needs to be addressed. While you mentioned an overall favorable experience, I did want to speak to a few things. Funny you mentioned ice machines, we are actually in the process of looking at installing machines on a few of the floors. As far as location, we are in between L and M Streets, right on Thomas Circle. Sorry for the a couple of your requests not being honored, I'll be sure to follow up on these too.

Cheers,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,493 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (402)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2013

I stayed at Donovan House for two nights while on holiday in DC. I was made to feel very welcome by the staff from check-in to check out. The hotel has a secret agent theme and I thought the personalised 'raid the minibar' instructions addressing me as as Agent X was a nice touch. I also enjoyed the wine hour in the lobby from 5 pm each evening.

The room I had (14th floor) was large and well appointed with plenty of electrical outlets for my gadgets. The in-room Wi-Fi (free for Kimpton loyalty programme members) connection was very quick.

The Zentan restaurant attached to the hotel served some of the freshest and tastiest sushi I have ever eaten and it is reasonably priced. I would thoroughly recommend having lunch there.

The hotel is only a short walk from the White House and the orange and blue metro lines can be accessed from nearby McPherson Square station making it ideally placed for seeing the many sights that Washington has to offer. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Washington and I look forward to staying there again on my next visit.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JBSTITCH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at The Kimpton Donovan, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Hi JBSTITCH,

Thanks for your review!

Really appreciate all your positive comments about your stay. I really enjoyed how you pointed out our location. We are totally in the center of it all.

Cheers and see you soon,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wilmington,nc
Level Contributor
186 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2013

First time at this hotel stayed because its a Kimpton chain. The decor is unique with brown leather and purple accents The leopard robes are complimentary during stay. The staff is friendly and they offer a 1 hour wine sampling each evening and the Asian fusion restaurant adjacent provides some samples. Room was and Executive queen but alraedy showing some age with damaged surfaces and leather. Room has great view of the city block circle with statues churches and like. Location is easy walking distance to restaurants and Metro is 2 blocks. DuPont circle is about 15 minutewalk. Want to return when rooftop pool and bar are open. No hot water the first morning but was repaired by the time I got bac from meetings

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kenasa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at The Kimpton Donovan, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Hi kenasa,

Thanks for your review!

What a great stay, but I'm very sorry about the Hot Water. Unfortunately, the situation was a bit out of our control, regardless I feel terrible. Like you said, it was rectified and I hope (fingers crossed!) you don't hold it against us.

See you next time?
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2013 via mobile

Lovely hotel situated in Washington DC only a few mins walk away from White House and a good number of restaurants / cafes to go to, plus a breakfast diner- which was convieneate! The location of the hotel makes it an excellent location to access all the main sites around Washington without stress. All we did was walk everywhere.

As for the hotel itself, it's friendly welcoming by the reception and as for the rooms neat and tidy! ( apart from the little build up of dust and dirt behind the bed ). The room was comfy and the bed was huge had such a lovely sleep! As I travelled with family the hotel provided us interconnecting rooms which was brill! I would recommend this hotel-yes!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ChryssoG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at The Kimpton Donovan, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Hi ChryssoG,

Thanks for your review!

Seems like you had an awesome time and really took advantage of our location. Sorry about the dust behind the bed, I'll be sure to pass this along to my Housekeeping Team.

Cheers,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2013

The service at Kimpton Hotels are enough to make you keep coming back but this hotel was beautiful with modern design and a great location for an interview downtown. I would recommend this hotel to anyone visiting the area and looking for a great location and great service.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelGirl3434
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at The Kimpton Donovan, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Hi TravelGirl3434,

Thanks for your review.

Wow, awesome stay! Hope all went well with the interview. Then again, if it didn't, you wouldn't have to move to DC and can stay in our Hotel more often! Just saying...

Cheers,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix
Level Contributor
73 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

We recently stayed 4 nights at Donovan House and we loved it. We are huge Kimpton fans and have stayed at 20+ of their properties from coast to coast over the past 10 years. We have NEVER been disappointed and Donovan House was no exception. We secured a King Premier because I wanted a separate bathtub and the majority of their rooms have a shower only. Upon check-in we were upgraded to a King Suite. Our two- room suite on the 9th floor was spotless and spacious. There were floor to ceiling windows over looking Thomas Circle. The décor is very modern and minimalist. Our bathroom was huge with a giant shower, a lovely freestanding bathtub and dual sinks on the vanity. The bed was dreamy and there was plenty of seating options in both rooms for leisure or if needed for working.

Location is good as it’s 3 to 4 blocks (10 min walk) to the McPherson Square Metro stop. You can take the blue line directly from Washington National (Regan) Airport. It’s a little far to pull luggage but it’s doable. We took a cab when we departed… There are quite a few nice dinning options within walking distance and there is a 24 hour CVS directly across the street, which is super convenient for snacks and drugstore needs. There is a liquor store near by as well. Everything about our stay from check-in to departure was stellar; great staff and the wine hour from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. is always a nice “Kimpton” touch.

Tip: If you are traveling to DC for work or play you don’t need a car. It’s a difficult city to navigate and parking is sparse and very expensive ($40+ per day). Use the Metro. It’s a wonderful and reasonable transit system and will get you pretty much everywhere you need to be in the city. Additionally, the Cream of Crab soup and the Crab Cakes at Legal Seafood (7th and F) are to die for… ☺

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TraceyPhoenix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at The Kimpton Donovan, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Hi TraceyPhoenix,

Thanks for your review.

What awesome tips and advice you provided for the TripAdvisor community! Awesome stay, highlighted by great interactions with our team. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Cheers,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michigan
Level Contributor
190 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

I really wanted to like this hotel. After three days at another DC hotel, I thought I'd try this one to see if it might work later for a romantic trip to DC. Solved that question quickly: answer is definitely a no. There isn't one big thing wrong with this hotel. But a lot of small wrong things that added up to make it a disappointing visit. I came away with a view that the hotel is overpriced and an overall bad taste in my mouth.

The hotel is not in a terrible location - right on Thomas Circle - but it's also not terribly convenient. About a mile away from the nearest metro (Dupont Circle) and on a street that doesn't attract a lot of taxis. Not a big problem, but if you're planning a trip, good to know.

The real problem was the myriad of small things that made this a disappointing trip. It's promoted as kind of an icon of cool hipness but they've seemed to put form over function. The carpet in the room for example, was stained and frayed. Ugg. Not a good first impression. The carpet in the hallways was actually in better shape. The stains though make you wander what's down there and I'd prefer not to have to think about it. They promote their rooms as having a "cocoon shower." That's actually just a small shower with the shower head in the ceiling. Really? Turns out it had to be in the ceiling because the water pressure was so weak, it needed gravity's help just to make it to the drain. The location and lack of pressure then simply makes it hard to wash and rinse. By itself a big deal? Not really. I've had crappy showers all over the world but it was just one more thing. Then the bathroom sink was clogged, water building up as I'm trying to shave. No coffee pot in the room (man, even the Days Inns of the world get this right). They did have coffee in the lobby but it was out when I went to get some at 7:30. When it finally arrived I got a cup and a newspaper but then couldn't find a place to read it. The lights in the lobby were too dim. I literally couldn't read the words without finding on mediocre bulb and moving the paper around under it as I read. The coolness factor they were going for just got in the way of my having an enjoyable coffee and paper experience and you have to ask yourself if this is what they intended. My next-to-last frustration - tho certainly not my biggest - was the furniture. I'm 5-9 and felt like I was too tall for everything in the hotel. Did they buy furniture from a hobbit? Every seat in the lobby, the one chair in my room and even the bed were so low to the floor that it was uncomfortable. A problem for anyone under 30? Probably not. But over 50? It might be a problem. The bed I thought was especially low.

As I said, individually none of these things were a big deal. I've certainly had worse experiences. The real kicker though was when I went to check out. At the end of the day, whether you had a good experience or not, you'd like to think that the hard-earned money you chose to spend was appreciated. After all, I could have spent my cash anywhere in the city. Alas, the coolness factor of the hotel must restrain the staff from saying anything like "thanks for staying here" or "how was your stay?" or "did you have a great time?" or even a "have a great day." I got a glare and sigh when I asked for my bill to be printed; it was handed to me without comment. Ahh - just the right touch to push a three-star rating to a two-star. Keep in mind I hadn't given them any feedback yet - not even about the clogged sink - and wasn't given an opportunity to. So the next guest will have the same clogged sink I had. Nice. I'm fully aware that any of these - individually - seem nitpicky. But we don't experience hotels or restaurants in a microcosm of individual experiences. We experience them holistically and the overall impression I got was not positive. I call them as I see them. Have given $60 hotels five-star ratings because they try and they deliver value. And I've given mom-and-pop restaurants nice marks for showing some real customer service and creativity. This hotel needs to remember who pays the bills and ask themselves what that customer needs. Here's a hint: It's not an oversold "cocoon shower" w/no water pressure, stained and frayed carpet, uncomfortable furniture and an indifferent staff.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank michigantraveler05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at The Kimpton Donovan, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Hi michigantraveler05,

Thank you so much for your review and feedback.

Wow, I am shocked at your experience in our Hotel. As mentioned in many other reviews, our staff is excellent thus my surprised response. Nevertheless, I am very appreciative of this feedback and hope to learn more about your stay. The part that resonates most with me was your check out experience. Is it possible you could contact me at Abe.liao@donovanhousehotel.com? Like I said, would love to know more so I can take corrective action for future guests.

Hope to hear from you soon,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Kimpton Donovan

Property: The Kimpton Donovan
Address: 1155 14th Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20005-4111
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Upper Northwest
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#16 Green Hotel in Washington DC
#19 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#24 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#41 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#56 Family Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Kimpton Donovan 4*
Number of rooms: 193
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Donovan Hotel a Thompson
Donovan House Washington Dc

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